12 Photographs Of Fearless Female Skaters Shredding The Patriarchy

by Laura McMahon

Skater Cindy Whitehead’s new book, It’s Not About Pretty: A Book About Radical Skater Girls, features the most iconic images of female skaters since that awe-inspiring Life magazine cover of Patti McGee in 1965.

Founder of the Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word movement, OG pro vert skater, and new inductee to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, Whitehead epitomizes girl power. She became a professional skateboarder at the impressive age of seventeen and despite retiring at 22, she remains dedicated to empowering women and girls through skating, art and activism.



Her new venture is the first ever photography book on female skateboarding, and we are hooked. The collection features 144 pages of skaters aged between five and fifty years old. Each powerful image, captured by award-winning photographer Ian Logan and graphic designer Elise Crigar, generates the fearless and radical essence of ladies thrashing the traditionally male-dominated sport.

“Women and girls in skateboarding are capable, they’re interesting, and they’re worthy,” she says. “When girls pick up a book about skateboarding, I don’t want them to see just guys; I want them to see smart, talented, ambitious girls who are doing things they love and kicking the ass out of social norms.”

In 2013, Whitehead and her startup brand Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word joined forces with Dwindle Inc, the largest company in pro-skateboarding, to create the impressive “Gypsy Queen” longboard. In her inspiring TED Talk, she reveals how strongly she feels about her GN4LW brand and giving back to women in action sports.

Six years agom the U.K.-based fellow skater Jenna Selby stated in As If And What?, “Skateboarding is at a point right now where it can go one way or another and we are just trying to keep the importance on skill and personality, not on what a girl looks like or how she dresses.” More power to Cindy and her band of rebellious babes featured in It’s Not About Pretty for carrying this concept and making it all about nose grabbing and not about pussy grabbing.


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All photographs by Ian Logan, layout by Elise Crigar; used with permission

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